Hydroelectric power in North America: What are the facts?

It’s the continent’s largest renewable source of electricity.

And the U.S. and Canada are among the top producers of hydroelectricity in the world.

In the United States, you’ll find hydroelectric stations in all fifty states, while some states in the Pacific Northwest generate the majority of their electricity from hydro (National Hydropower Association).



Canada is one of the few countries to generate the majority of its electricity from hydroelectricity. In addition, approximately 1 per cent of all U.S. electricity is supplied by Canadian hydropower and is used in regions such as New York, New England, the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest (Canadian Hydropower Association).

Hydroelectricity is a shared and renewable resource. Here are some interesting facts about hydro in North America from the Canadian Hydropower Association:

  • Together, Canadian and US hydropower resources represent approximately 80% of total renewable electricity generation in North America
  • 175,000 megawatts of installed hydro capacity in Canada and the U.S.
  • 250,000+ megawatts of potential capacity is still available in Canada and the U.S.
  • 50,000,000+ households powered annually in Canada and the U.S.
  • 350,000,000 tonnes per year of avoided greenhouse gas emissions in Canada and the U.S.


To learn more about hydroelectricity and how it’s generated, click here.

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